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Models of Personal Conversion in Russian cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries

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Jens Herlth and Christian Zehnder

This volume offers a view of modern Russian intellectual culture as shaped by the dynamic of conversions. The individual contributions examine a rich variety of personal conversions occurring in a culture in which the written word enjoyed a privileged status and, historically, was closely linked to the sacred. However, the essays presented go beyond the original meaning of conversion as a change of religious beliefs. They address shifts in style, aesthetic outlooks, and mindsets, political and ideological transfigurations as well as religious conversions in the true sense of the term.
Whether at the level of culture, society or biography, the study of conversions opens the way to profound reflections about questions of identity, cultural ruptures, and continuity. The awareness of former conversions and the possible «convertibility» of one’s own ideological, spiritual or social stance has been among the central traits of Russian intellectual culture during the last two centuries.
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Contributors

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MIRIAM FINKELSTEIN is a lecturer in Russian literature and culture at the Chair of Slavic Literatures and Cultures, University of Passau, Germany.

TOMÁŠ GLANC is Associate Professor of Slavic Literature and Literary Theory at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and visiting professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, and at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

ANATOLY KORCHINSKY is Associate Professor of Theory and History of the Humanities at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia.

MILUTIN JANJIĆ is a PhD student at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, United States.

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